Where am I now?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dark Knight, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight Pianissimo User

    187
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    Apr 7, 2010
    Canada
    Where am I so far, one year in to my comeback?

    I tracked down top guy in the next big city; it is a 50 min drive and I have to sneak out of work in the middle of day but it is worth it. I am determined not to let my trumpet live pass me by.

    For the time being, I am also still at the small town music store because I honour my commitments. I had my first band practice for a Christmas concert. What happened was analogous to a karate student to trains for years, gets into their first fight, then starts to just flail the arms like a windmill. I forgot everything I have learned about breathing and embouchure; it was all I could do to follow the conductor, keep time, and produce the notes anyway I can. I guess I really am a "practice room hero". It was a real eye opening experience. The trumpet section consisted of me, a 9 year old boy and a 16 year old girl. I am 50 years old and a good 3 feet taller than either. I promised the conductor I would be 100% better next time now that I know what to expect.

    I keep thinking everyone has to start somewhere.

    I did have my first lesson with the trumpet teacher in the next big city. He does have some serious credentials, so I am feeling very lucky to have found someone. This is a shout out to Markie. The teacher looked at my embouchure and just said, "not correct". I now set my embouchure like blowing out a candle (sound familiar?). I think some people refer to this as making an "M-shape" with the lips. Either way, I now use lip-on-lip compression at the corners as described by Pops McLaughlin in his Comeback guide published by the trumpet guild. A tiring practice session now has the muscles around my corners fatigued and not necessarily my lips. The jaw pain during double-tonguing has resolved. Everything feels good!

    The moral of this story is you can read all kinds of advice that is well-described but sometimes it only makes sense when you can hook up with a teacher who actually plays and teaches the trumpet professionally.

    Thanks to everyone so far.

    DK
     
  2. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Hey, DK, thanks for the update. The rest of us comeback players like to know how everyone else is doing.

    I must admit I have mixed feelings about your situation in the group where you are playing. On one hand, you will have the chance to play some nice parts and really be heard. On the other hand, your cracks and clams will also be heard. I have been on my comeback effort about the same time as you but I play in a large (100+) symphonic band where I am one of 12 trumpets so if I sit out a tough section or miss a note, nobody (even in the band) knows - unless I play in the white spaces (which I have been known to do).

    Good luck on getting your 'A' game ready for the Christmas concert. That will motivate you for sure. A top tier teacher will help a lot, too.
     
  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    Who are you studying with?
     
  4. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight Pianissimo User

    187
    3
    Apr 7, 2010
    Canada
    Brekelefuw, please PM me the time and date of your St. Kitts gig. I know it is in November, towntown but I would like some more specifics. I am currently making the trek to Long and McQuaids in Burlington. This Friday will be only my second lesson. I am going to go every other week until I finish with the Christmas concert in December. Then, I will start up big time thereafter. The chaps name there is Neil Christoffersens. He was fantastic and I am really looking foward to going full time.

    I am starting to believe in fate. While in TO about a month ago I was in Steve's music store and saw a book by Don Johnson, "A Comprehensive Practice Routine for the Aspriring Brass Player". I fell in love with that book. I have been consuming it ever since. Well, two weeks after that, when I go for my first lesson with Neil, that is the book he pulls out for us to start to working through. I told him how much the book meant to me and he also suprised me with the news that Don Johnson will be giving a master class at the store in November, cool eh?

    DK
     
  5. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    Don started the Jazz program at Humber College.
    His book has been the most important book in my development.

    I am playing at L3 on Nov 14th. It is the kick off show of our week long tour that goes from St. Kitts, then out east to Montreal, and then back west up to Sault Ste. Marie hitting 8 cities during that time. It is a hip-hop/brass/rock band.
     
  6. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    547
    86
    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    DK - what you're seeing is that practice chops are not gig chops. At home, we get the ability to stop and correct mistakes, we can pace ourselves, we can hear ourselves well in isolation. The moment you get into a group, it's a total other story. We generally don't have to deal with butterflies, anxiety, etc in the practice room as well.

    The good news is that gig chops come by, of all things, doing gigs (gigs here including rehearsals). Keep at the good work! It gets better.
     
  7. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight Pianissimo User

    187
    3
    Apr 7, 2010
    Canada
    Here is the other tough part. Even though I have a modest sense of timing, I can't help but follow the tempo of other members in the section, even if they are wrong. It really pissed the conductor off. It is pure reflex.

    DK
     

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